Climbs 33
Rocktype Volcanic tuff
Altitude 200m a.s.l
Faces W

Shaw Brown leading A Quick One, Pen (Main Crag) © Sue Underwood

Crag features

There are two contrasting halves to this crag. The southernmost part, S of the stone wall abutting the lowest point of the crag, is a steep quarry-like crag while the northern section is 20 - 30m high slabs at an amenable angle. Rock quality is excellent. Parts of the slab are vegetated but the routes are generally clean.

A much smaller outlier, Pen Slab, is found just up the gully which flanks the southern crag. Upper Pen Crag is found in a beautiful open location on the south side of Pen, just below the summit with views down the Duddon Valley.

Approach notes

The crag lies on the west side of the small summit of Pen above the eastern side of Wallowbarrow Gorge. The crag can be discerned on the 1:25,000 map, as can the stone wall which descends from the crag to the river.

Access to the crag is difficult in the bracken season (June to November) as definite paths are non-existent.

1. From the footbridge at the south end of Wallowbarrow Gorge (224964) follow the path north up the gorge on the west bank of the R Duddon for around 300m. Tower of Flints buttress becomes obvious high on your left and Pen crag is less obvious but just visible on the right. Crossing the Duddon is only straightforward when water is low. Be warned! The best crossing point is before you are level with the crag where a huge pointed boulder stands in the river. From here the crag lies diagonally left up the hillside. About 15 min in favourable conditions.

2. The crag can also be reached by a pleasant (outside the bracken season!) ramble from the high land above Seathwaite Buttress taking a WNW line until the summit of Pen is reached. 30+ min from the road in favourable conditions.


The main slabs have a lot of seepage after prolonged rain and the sun doesn't reach them until mid-afternoon in October.
Simon2005 - 28/Oct/17
I like this crag, great position and plenty of routes for a severe/VS leader. Well worth the walk in. Some of the routes on the main crag are being reclaimed by nature due to a lack of traffic. Use it or lose it.
Simon2005 - 21/May/14
Borrowed laminated modern routes info from Newfield Inn. No path but bushwacking was fine as no bracken. Real suntrap in afternoon, very peaceful, nice views.
oddtoast - 31/Mar/14
A lot of the routes here seem to be rather overgraded.
Rog Wilko - 05/Sep/13
An idyllic spot with intimate views of the Wallowbarrow Gorge from the crag foot and superb distant views up to Harter Fell and Bowfell from the top. There is a useful abseil sling at the top of Ball Point which can be accessed with care from the conclusion of all routes.
Rog Wilko - 29/Aug/13
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Climbs at this crag

Climb name Grade
  Main Slabs
2 Pencil Buttress HS 2
3 Pending Leftwards Arete HVS 4c 3
4 Pensive VS 4b * 7
5 A Quick One E1 5b ** 14
6 The Fat Controller HVS 5a ** 20
7 Ripples E2 5c ** 8
8 The Thin Manipulator S 4a * 21
9 Pen Tangle S * 3
10 20th Century Fox S 1
11 Ball Point
HS 4a 1
12 Penance Direct S * 5
13 Penance HVS 5a * 3
Climb name Grade
14 Velvet Underground
HVS 5a * 2
15 Penultimate VS 4c *  
16 Penned In
HVS 5a 1
17 The Pen is Mightier than the Sword S 4a ** 8
  Southern Crag
19 Rampart
E1 5b  
20 Citadel
E3 5c *  
21 Citadel Direct
E4 5c *  
22 Bastille
E2 5c * 1
23 Woodwind
MVS 4c  
  Pen Slab
25 Negafook VD 1
26 Loose S 2
Climb name Grade
27 Moose S 5
28 Hoose
HS 2
  Upper Pen Crag
30 The Thwacking Man VD 4
31 Chameleon HS * 4
32 The Thwacking Stone VS 4c * 6
33 Paleface VS 4c 2
34 Seduced by the 'Ennerdale Blond' HS 4a * 4
  Fellside betwen Pen and Seathwaite Buttress
36 Ground Attack
E2 6a 1
37 Wedlock
HVS 5b  
38 Dreadlock
E1 5b  

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